The Boston Red Sox head into Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies riding an eight-game losing streak and boasting the worst record in the American League.
This shouldn’t really be considered too much of a surprise given who Boston dealt way during the offseason and with other health issues plaguing the team.
Now that we’re less than two weeks from the trade deadline, rumors continue to persist that Boston could ultimately be one of a few sellers. That might include the team’s best remaining player.
Could the Red Sox trade Xander Bogaerts before Aug. 31?
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic broached this topic in a recent column. While he stopped short of reporting any substantive news, the insider did provide some reasons to believe that Bogaerts could be traded. Let’s break it down quickly.
- The six-year, $120 million extension Bogaerts signed last year included a full no-trade clause once the two-time All-Star reaches seven years of service time. That comes on Sept. 6, one week after the trade deadline.
- This is important to note in that further restrictions when it comes to dealing Bogaerts would limit Boston’s return in a blockbuster trade.
- Still only 27 years old, Bogaerts has the ability to opt out of his current contract following after the 2022 season despite the fact that it runs through 2025.
- The market dynamic will play a huge role here. That’s especially true with the likes of Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa and Trevor Story all likely to reset the free-agent market at shortstop following the 2021 season.
There’s certainly other layers to this. Boston’s brass views Bogaerts as a core piece of the retooling process. However, the team has also noted that it will need to cut payroll. Even after dealing Mookie Betts, this might still be the case.
If Bogaerts is in fact traded, he’d bring a whole lot back in return as Boston enters the initial stages of a rebuild.
The Aruba native is coming off a career-best 2019 season that saw him hit .309 with 33 homers, 117 RBI and a .939 OPS. He’s under team control for at least the next two seasons, too.
Boston’s blockbuster trade of Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers back in February enabled the organization to rebuild its farm system. That included the acquisitions of outfielder Alex Verdugo, infielder Jeter Downs and catcher Connor Wong. A shortstop himself, Downs is currently Boston’s No. 1 prospect.
Not anywhere near close to contending, it could make sense for Boston to continue building up its farm system.